I Bought a Bed Online From the Warby Parker of Mattresses

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Even at 30 years old with two kids, buying a mattress is still just a little too “grown up” for me (unlike the twentysomethings in this press photo apparently). It’s right up there with getting life insurance, voluntarily making a dentist appointment, or saving for retirement. But here I am, a large box sitting at my front door with a mattress inside.

I got into this situation because I’m a sucker for new types of products, or ones being re-invented after decades long stagnation. This mattress from Casper mostly fits in the second category—so I needed to try it.

Casper is a new type of mattress company, it’s hip, or at least it’s trying to be. Just like Warby Parker made ordering eyeglasses over the internet a cool experience, Casper is slinging its mattresses in a way that it hopes appeals to an ‘order anything from Amazon’ generation.

What makes this mattress any different anyway? First, it’s reasonably priced—I’m told. I don’t spend my time shopping mattresses. $850 for a queen-sized mattress may sound like a lot, but is actually quite reasonable for good quality bedding. Second, the materials used—combination of latex foam and dense memory foam—allow it to fold up into a box that can be shipped across the country in five days, or same day delivery in New York City.

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Back to the mattress at my front door. Coming in at around 68-pounds, Casper’s queen-sized mattress was manageable enough in its large box to get up the stairs—which was an achievement in itself. Not surprisingly, however, once it was unboxed and unfolded it still took on all the characteristics of a standard mattress. That means it was not fun to move around.

After I struggled to get it on the bed frame, of course I excitedly jumped on expecting to be instantly sedated by the mattress’ implied perfect level of softness and firmness. I laid there a minute, but nothing happened. I then decided there were better things to do instead of sleeping at 11:00 am on a Wednesday anyway. The first time lying down was nice, but it didn’t tell me anything about how a full night’s sleep would be.

After my smugness of getting a huge mattress delivered to my door and carrying it up the stairs by myself wore off, it was time for the real tests. Because frankly, it won’t matter how cool the ordering experience was if I don’t sleep well.

Night #1

For reference, I’ve been using a mattress with the standard springs or coils for almost exactly two years. The store it was bought from rated it a 7 out of 9 in firmness with a 1 being super soft and 9 being extra firm.

The first night with the Casper mattress wasn’t magical, but I also wasn’t expecting it to be. That coil mattress I just mentioned I’d been sleeping on for about two years, its first night wasn’t indicative of future night sleeps either. The difference between this first night with the Casper mattress and the old coil one, however, is that I didn’t wake up disillusioned this time.

It’s hard to “test” a mattress at the store, but doing so gives you a false impression that at least you’re in control—like you knew what you were getting. You don’t. At least when you buy a mattress over the Internet, you don’t feel like you tested them all and then picked wrong.

Lying there the first night waiting for sleep to come, the Casper mattress was definitely softer and squishier than I was used to, but it still felt sturdy and firm. It was great. The experience was kind of like feeling cashmere for the first time. That’s the equivalent of sleeping on the Casper mattress, it wasn’t new or completely foreign, but it was slightly better than anything similar I’d tried.

The second night was definitely better than the first. There were no expectations for how the mattress would feel, no over thinking how I was lying, just tiredness.
In the morning I didn’t feel any soreness and, in fact, I didn’t feel anything, I woke up comfortably. Well, as much as possible with a three year old boy acting as an alarm clock and coming in at 6 AM.

Into The Unknown

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The following nights were each better and more familiar than the previous. No question, this mattress from Casper is fantastic. The surprising part isn’t that it’s good though, it’s that it’s as good as the company said it was. It worked out to order something so big and expensive with the click of a button.

I’ve ordered a lot of things over the Internet. Including, but not limited to, sunglasses, a TV, mobile phones, candy, shoes, and various clothes, all without issue. Now, a mattress can be added to that list and it’s not really a big deal.

We’ve learned, as a society, how to read reviews, how to interrupt return policies, and how to order nearly everything from the Internet. Is there a downside, because the upside is huge. I got a new mattress delivered, unpacked, and set up with only about 15 minutes of total work. Only time will tell if Casper can truly shake up the industry, but my experience so far makes me never want to go back to a mattress store ever again.

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